Neil Warnock: Bristol City boss Lee Johnson 'talks a good game'

By Rob PhillipsBBC Wales football correspondent
Sean Morrison in action against Bristol City
Cardiff City lost 2-1 away to Bristol City in November 2017

Cardiff boss Neil Warnock has promised a true derby atmosphere for Sunday's Championship game with Bristol City.

Bristol counterpart Lee Johnson said he did not think the Cardiff City Stadium would be "intimidating".

Warnock admitted "genuine" bad blood with the Johnson family and said: "Lee, he is like his dad [ex-Bristol City manager Gary], he talks a good game, I don't listen to what he says.

"It will be a decent atmosphere. We'll try and do our best for him."

Cardiff will be looking to avenge a 2-1 defeat at Ashton Gate in November's Severnside derby.

Bristol City have complained about their ticket allocation, which will be restricted to just 1,481 and Warnock said: "If I had my way they would probably get 400."

The 69-year-old added: "It does make for a good derby when you get the opposition in their numbers. When we went to Bristol I thought our fans were fabulous.

"Even with 10 men they rallied us. I thought we were the dominant team with 10 men, I thought they were super. That's what derbies are all about - hot air, things said and shouted.

"As long as there is no trouble. I hope there is no trouble.

"By all means have a go at me, players, managers and fans keep it like that and not have any physical trouble."

Lee Johnson
Lee Johnson has also managed Oldham Athletic and Barnsley

'Ghost goal'

Warnock admitted emnity between himself and the Johnsons - Lee and his father Gary, the current Cheltenham Town boss who also managed Bristol City.

It stems from the infamous Freddie Sears "ghost goal" at Ashton Gate when the forward was playing for Warnock's Crystal Palace against Bristol City in 2009.

Warnock at the time felt "cheated" after what he felt was a valid goal disallowed with Sears' effort crossing the line before bouncing out.

"Everyone knew it was a goal, apart from the officials, even Gary knew it was a goal and I thought they should have conceded a goal. But they didn't," Warnock added.

"I said they would probably go downhill from then on, and they did."

Cardiff go into the weekend second in the Championship table - four points ahead of third-placed Aston Villa and 10 points in front of their visitors.

Commenting on reports the Cardiff squad could share a £10m bonus if they go up automatically, Warnock said: "I think you just have to take it with a little bit of pinch of salt.

"I read in the same report Leicester had £6.7m - so inflation, eh?"

'Pinch of salt'

But he added: "Money does not come into it. Not at our level. I am not sure about the Premier League when they are on such astronomical wages. In the Championship you don't think about it.

"You don't think about your bonus or anything else. You just think about getting the points on board.

"I think last year when I said I would like to be challenging next year for the play-offs, people thought I was living in cuckoo land, taking over the squad we took over.

"Quite a few of those lads are still with us and here we are.

"I don't feel under any pressure. I don't think the lads do, I think we are just enjoying it.

Sean Morrison
Sean Morrison leaves the field injured during Cardiff's 1-0 win at Ipswich

"I think we are probably the only team in the top five who have that attitude I think everything is expected of those other teams.

"If we finish sixth now and got in the play-offs we would think it's a great season."

Cardiff skipper Sean Morrison has an outside chance of being fit for Sunday after the recurrence of a groin problem he suffered during Wednesday's 1-0 win at Ipswich.

Fellow defender Joe Bennett is expected to recover from illness but Armand Traore and Callum Paterson are both big doubts.

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